Monday, July 17, 2017

Linda's Gone to Mars

Would you believe... "Linda's Gone to Mars," is the name of one of the Ukulele Player's Club songs?!

I had never heard this song until I join this group. Though last Thursday I attended and sang along during the club play, I didn't take along or play my uke. πŸ˜’

That's why I posted the song... "Oh my stars!" I feel like I am "going to Mars!" That's because last Wednesday my GP diagnosed my wrist problem as carpal tunnel syndrome. He prescribed Mobic, an anti-inflammatory drug, and told me not to play the ukulele, quilt, or sew for a month!
If you're a quilter, you understand why I feel like I'm Mars-bound. Stark. Raving. Outer space-bound. 

I'm happy to say that before the doc gave me my "ticket to Mars" 😏 I did a few sew-y things.

I completed a Zip Up Travel Tray. This one is made with a Carrie Bloomston print. 

It's so neat how it springs open. That's due to the Pellon F72 double-sided fusible that must be used to get that action. And I'll add that what I was told is true... it's a stinker to hand sew the binding on each end. It's just awkward, but worth it for the end result.

I also sewed this adaptation of an Edith Bag using fabric I bought when I was in Switzerland in 2002. It seemed most appropriate to use this print because the bag will be used to hold EpiPens!

Our three year-old grandson, Luke, is highly allergic to peanuts, so his mom carries a EpiPen everywhere - actually, three pens: an unexpired one, an expired one, and a "trainer." The bag print is a good indicator of "emergency." I used Insul-Brite as batting, so the pens should stay cool (as they're supposed to) in the Texas heat.

Our DIL sent this photo after the bag arrived in the mail, showing me that it holds everything. Yay for being able to make something useful!

The Tula Nova pattern and the papers arrived in last week's mail, so I chose and cut out fabric for the first three rounds. I think I'll rename this Linda Nova, as prints and solids in all the colors of the rainbow are of my own choosing.  

I also cut out my Simplicity pattern for an Outback Wife dress using Ella Blue Fabrics "Bindi" barkcloth.

And not pictured are three more quilt tops to be quilted as part of my #summerofFMQ. Sigh. It's gonna be a while until any of these WIPs see action again. 

Through the Central Florida MQG I helped coordinate plans and then signed up to take this past Saturday's "Leftovers" workshop with Debra Jalbert (MadeofHonorQuilts) in Clermont, Florida. I looked forward to learning Debra's process for making tiny improv blocks that would use up scraps and make a neat modern quilt. But after the doc's order, I needed to back out. However, quilter and (former Iowan) friend Karen encouraged me to go anyway - to socialize and offer color advice. I did just that, as well as take pictures for the Central Florida MQG blog post about it HERE

Aren't these wonderful?! Such a good start for each of them to make a mug rug, or pillow, or quilt. I'm pretty sure I had nearly as much fun as everyone else. Of course, after seeing what my fellow quilters created, I've been anxious to try this myself.  

But I'm being good.

So, what's a ukulele-playing, crocheter, sewist, quilter supposed to do when she mustn't?!

Read. Watch TV. Clean house?! Ha. How about... Go to Mars?!  πŸš€ Linda

Friday, July 7, 2017

Passive Planning

For more than a week now, I've been really good about not using my left wrist. It hasn't improved much. It's definitely still swollen in spite of 600 mgs of ibuprofen three times a day, and icing it four to five times a day. I have my annual physical next Wednesday, so I'll have an opportunity to talk with the doc about it.

On Independence Day I did a little test, and tried free motion quilting. Even though I didn't used my left hand to press hard on the quilt sandwich, my wrist was sore later. So, it's been back to TV-watching and listening to an audio book - I want to highly recommend "Truly Madly Guilty" by Liane Moriarty. It's a real page-turner... if I was turning pages! πŸ˜‚

I also sewed up nine 4" leaders and enders blocks. How much could that really hurt? Hmm. It did. So I stopped. But my design wall looks good with my growing collection on it!

Do you know how much I hate inactivity?! I don't do nothing well. So I've done some planning.

Using EQ7, I'm designing another all-solids quilt for our latest Central Florida MQG challenge. This challenge has us picking up any magazine, other than a quilting one, and choosing a page between 48 and 52 to use as inspiration for a quilt. Funnily, I'm going with a colorful ad for L'Oreal Wrinkle Expert. Should be good, huh? Every day I'm becoming more of a wrinkle expert!

I bought the digital download to make the Zip Up Tray Pouch, and have all the makin's for two of them ready to go. I see that South Florida MQG is making these at their sew day on Saturday, July 8.

I'm looking forward to sewing this fabric. It's "Bindi," one of the Outback Wife barkcloth prints made by Ella Blue. This fabric is in demand for dressmaking, so when I found it at Valli and Kim Quilt Shop in Dripping Springs, Texas, I bought enough for a dress for myself. 

Simplicity #8294 is a must-have for this fabric. Gertrude Made (find her on Instagram) is the Australian farm wife who specifically designed the pattern for barkcloth. JoAnn Fabrics has all Simplicity patterns for $1.99 today, Saturday, and Sunday. Otherwise, the pattern is $12.57. Yep, I'm a frugal shopper when I want to be. 

Online shopping is something I can do when my wrist can't play the ukulele, quilt, sew, or crochet, so I have a few items headed my way:
Tula Nova quilt
I'm not a fan of Tula Pink fabrics (not fond of the animal designs), but I definitely like this quilt. I'm think of making mine mostly of solids, but perhaps add a few prints in strategic places. This will be a long-term handwork project, whenever I get the use of both hands again. Sigh.

Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself. I haven't attended any of my usual quilting activities - Big Cypress Quilters, or the Central Florida MQG Sew Day tomorrow - or been to Ukulele Players Club or touched my uke for three weeks. 

Have I mentioned? I don't do nothing well. And now you also know that I whine.

But don't you like how I enabled you to join in my shopping excursion with all those hot links?! πŸ˜‚Let me know if you buy or make one of these things too. πŸ‘Œ Linda 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Texas Catch-Up

Hello friends! And a very big thank you to the 70 people who entered my blog giveaway! When I asked for comments, I wasn't fishing for compliments about my project, but you certainly did just that. Thank you so much for liking the block I designed, and my hand quilting. You-all know how to make a quilter feel good!
The giveaway winner is Debbie M. from South Carolina. She let me know that she's already planning to make a Quilts of Valor quilt, so hopefully those patriotic solids will be put to good use soon!
Because of needing to write the block pattern, make and finish the block, and host the giveaway, I haven't been able to share where I was from June 16-27. Seems like a long time ago now, but we had a great time visiting our son and family in Austin, Texas.

We always spend one overnight at a LaQuinta Inn (they accept pets) on the way there, and the way home. The LaQuinta in Orange, Texas offered this morning waffle shape.

On Father's Day, all six of us ate at The Salt Lick, in Driftwood. It's our most-favorite Texas barbecue spot. At least 300 other people thought of the same thing - a Father's Day meal at Salt Lick - so we had to wait...  and that was at 11:10 am! Yes, it's that good! A quarter pound of pulled pork and blackberry cobbler is what I always order. And I eat every bit of it.

I was happy to get this three-generation photo, in spite of the photo turning out with a glare.

Austin and me at Salt Lick.

One hot day we took a short trail walk near Dripping Springs to find this abandoned house.

We imagined how it looked when it was inhabited. And there probably wasn't air-conditioning.
Me and my DIL, Lyn

I spent a couple hours with the grandies while they played at one of those bouncy-jump places. By now, I'd guess I've been to at least a half dozen different ones! They're a good place for little boys to burn up energy.

This one had make-believe rooms along the perimeter. Though we spent a little time in the school house, Luke and Austin liked the diner best. A little girl was happily waiting on them! It was pretty cute.

We left Hogan at our son's place while we went to Boerne for three days. We stayed with our formerly-from-Iowa friends. One evening the four of us went to Pearl in San Antonio, a refurbished area that includes the Pearl Brewery that's been turned into Hotel Emma. It was named after the woman who became CEO of the brewery following the death of her husband. She managed to keep the brewery going through prohibition, until 1933.

The interior has so much character!

We couldn't find information about what a night's stay might cost.

Must mention that after our stroll in the area, we had dinner at the NAO Culinary Institute of America where we ate a fabulous meal with wine-pairings. Dan really liked his grilled octopus, and lobster risotto. I could have eaten both his and my creme brΓ»lΓ©es!

Though our friends live in the city, they have vegetated land that's frequented by deer.

Patty saves scrap food for them, and they seemed to particularly relish watermelon rind. Of all things. 

I attempted to teach Patty to crochet a dishcloth. Unfortunately, I picked a pattern that was a little too challenging. But since I left, she's persevered to learn through YouTube and has now completed a couple of dishcloths.

It's pretty amazing that our fellas have known each other since high school, and Patty and I met right after high school. These are the kinds of friendships to prize. 

Though I've been in my sewing room, I've been disappointed to not be able to quilt because of a repetitive motion injury. Believe it or not, it started because I overdid playing the ukulele! Then, I compounded the problem by hand-quilting while traveling. I didn't use a hoop, but gathered and clamped the quilt with my left hand. And then I crocheted, using my left hand to wrap and feed the yarn onto the hook. All of those activities hurt, and took their toll.

I was at the doctor's office last week anyway, for a routine check, so I showed her my wrist. She noted the swelling, asked me to hold my hands together in a prayer position and twist my hands outward and inward, and then diagnosed the repetitive motion condition.

No ukulele-playing. Wear the brace. Take ibuprofen three times a day. Put ice on it. Since last Wednesday, I haven't done anything that makes my wrist hurt (uke, crochet, handwork) and I've worn the brace, taken the drug, and iced.

It's getting a little better - no more sharp stabs of burning pain along the outside of my wrist - but I'm going stir-crazy. I don't do UNPRODUCTIVE!

So I sewed yesterday. Very carefully. This Lecien Jelly Beads Zipper and pattern is from one of the vendors at the Daytona Beach AQS show that Di and I attend in March.

It's a 10-1/2" X 12" bag that's open at the top (I used yellow Grunge lining), and has this front inside section too. It was fun to sew... not that I really need another tote. Sewing and quilting are mental therapy.

I need to get this wrist back to normal soon. There's FMQ to be done! Linda

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Patriotic Palette Blog Hop

I hope you've been following along on our fun week of the Painter's Palette Blog Hop sponsored by Paintbrush Studios.

Here's where we've been and what we've seen so far in this blog hop:  

Day 1: Fireworks Mini Quilt - Lisa, InspiredbyFabric This is the PaintbrushStudio blog. Visit often!
Day 2: Atomic Blooms - Jayne, TwiggyandOpal
Day 3: Red, White and Blue Star - Elizabeth, OccasionalPiece
Day 4: A Salute to Red, White and Blue - Stephanie, SpontaneousThreads
Day 5: The Pillow That Ate Cleveland - Shelley APigeoninPungo

Welcome to Day 6! 

Here are the others you'll want to visit too:

Day 7, June 30: Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life
Day 8, July 3: Stephanie of Peas in a Pod

All eight of us received these fat quarters with which to design a project. I didn't use the color French Blue. I did use 5/8 yard of Painter's Palette Solid White! 

My design is "Patriotic Pinwheel." It's 24-1/2" X 24-1/2" and has a faced (rather than bound) finished edge.
24-1/2" X 24-1/2"
*Six pages of instructions do not include specific details for adding the last two borders (white with blue stripe, and dark blue). The 1"-wide (finished) white border is a little tricky to explain where to position, though it can be made similar to the red stripes. Feel free to copy mine on your own. 

Using EQ7, I came up with this block design. It started as a simple pinwheel block that I changed using the EQ7 "serendipity" feature.

For quilting, I first machine-sewed near the seams to stabilize the whole piece. Then I added big stitch hand-quilting because I like it.

And because we've been away from home for the past 11 days, it was the only way to get this done! πŸ˜„
I used size 8 perle cotton that I have on hand - some Presencia and some DMC - in these four colors.

For the dark blue (Patriot) pinwheel, I wanted the appearance of movement, so I turned to my often-used nested acrylic circles to trace curves. 

They're at 1-1/2" intervals.

Hand quilting was fast and fun!

For backing and facing, this old - like from 2008 - print works just fine. It's Robert Kaufman's Satinesque by Patrick Lose. 

I followed my friend Elizabeth's Faced Binding Tutorial to finish the piece, though instead of a double layer folded facing, I cut mine to make a 2"-wide single layer facing. Tip: Rather than hand sewing down the facing, for a quicker finish use Stitch Witchery to fuse the facing to the backing. Wa-la!

My hand quilting shows up a little.

Now, it's giveaway time! 

This giveaway is closed.


Paintbrush Studio is generously letting me give away the same seven-piece red, white, and blue fat quarter bundle that they sent me! (Each Patriotic Palette blogger is giving away a bundle!)

For a chance to win from FlourishingPalms, just comment.

Sorry, but this giveaway is for USA residents only. 

Be sure to include your email address if you're a no-reply commenter. If I can't contact you, you won't be the winner. 

And let me add that if you don't win, go buy some Painter's Palette Solids anyway! After my first yardage purchase of it at QuiltCon in Savannah, I've been completely sold.
  • The hand is fabulous. Not as heavy as some solids; nor as light as others.
  • The colors - all 168 of them! - are yummy.
  • The colors don't bleed. I'm a pre-washer, so it was wonderful to see a color catcher go into and come out of the washing machine still the same color.
  • Paintbrush Studio is in North Kansas City. I have a soft spot for that area because many family members live in KC. 
I'm definitely building my Painter's Palette Solids stash. I buy mine here. Linda

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Florida Sinkholes

Lately the local news has included daily reports of sinkholes opening in The Villages. Coming here from Iowa nearly five years ago, we didn't know anything about sinkholes other than hearing about the ones that swallow homes.

In Iowa the soil is mostly clay, so the water tends to lay on top of the ground. Here, where our homes are built on sand, the ground is porous. Water keeps falling and rinses away the rock below, like gypsum and limestone. That's when sinkholes open.

A sinkhole can be small...
At a Villages golf course
...right in front of your house...
This one is purportedly 30 feet deep!
... or at your favorite Ocala restaurant, where it takes your whole car!
 The couple got out safely.
(All sinkhole photos from

In April 2014 this 60-foot deep sinkhole appeared under the corner of a Villager's home, and part of the neighbor's driveway.

A mixture of sand and concrete was poured and poured and poured into the hole. 

I'm not sure I'd ever feel safe though.

Typically, sinkholes are what happens after a season of drought followed by several days of heavy rains. This is precisely how it's been around here. The recipe for perfect sinkholes.

The latest sinkhole was discovered yesterday. It's 20 feet deep.

This house is on the "historic" side of The Villages, the section that's the oldest, where The Villages first started. (I've also heard this area referred to as "Jurassic Park." πŸ˜‚ )

I can't help but sometimes think about own house being swallowed-up. If it happens, I hope Dan is somewhere else, perhaps at yoga or teaching Tai Chi, and I'm somewhere quilting with quilty friends!

Speaking of quilt-y... there's a really cool Patriotic blog hop going on, sponsored by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics.  It started a few days ago, on the company's Inspired by Fabric blog.

Patriotic Palette Blog Hop: Day 1
Patriotic Palette Blog Hop: Day 2

Each day there's a free project tutorial and a giveaway!
6/26: Elizabeth of OPQuilt (@occasionalpiecequilt)
6/30: Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life (@liveacolorfullife)
7/3: Stephanie of Peas in a Pod (@stephiepeterson)
You'll want to follow along to see what eight designers (including me!) have made with this Painter's Palette Solids fabric bundle, and get eight chances to win the bundle for yourself! (USA only.)

Painter's Palette Solids are those solid fabrics I've recently discovered, and really appreciate for their beautiful hand and vibrant, run-free colors!

So, please return here on Thursday for my tutorial and giveaway! Linda


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